Song Review: KEEMBO – Scandalous

KEEMBO consists of ex-Spica members Boa and Bohyung, re-debuting as a duo. They’ve gotten precious little attention so far, but I’m here to change that for one very important reason: they’ve brought my lord and savior (and occasional Spica collaborator) Sweetune along for the ride! Sweetune have been MIA for too long now, only popping up for a bit of indie idol rock here or a ballad there, including KEEMBO’s own Thank You, Anyway last month. And while Scandalous is not quite an undisputed Sweetune classic, it’s their first song in awhile that carries the upbeat energy I’ve been missing.

Scandalous melds bright pop rock with a synth backbone, drawing on the production team’s trademark vocal layering and ear for an effortless hook. The combination of acoustic guitar, strings and electronic elements makes for a buoyant blast. There’s some real interesting things happening in the second verse, where the strings are arranged almost like a traditional jig. This seems like it would be at odds with the track’s overall sound, but Sweetune are production masters for a reason.

Though much of Scandalous’s chorus is driven by instrumentation, the song hinges on a potent, singalong hook. It’s portioned sparingly throughout the track, but returns in a big way for the final chorus. It’s here that we’re treated to the kind of vocal arrangement Sweetune have made their name on. It helps that both Boa and Bohyung are incredible vocalists, and already accustomed to blending effortlessly. Judging from the second verse, Boa’s also a pretty charismatic rapper. Scandalous may not make waves on the charts, but for a Sweetune aficionado like myself it’s a welcome return to form that (hopefully) hints at greater things to come.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75

Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!


7 thoughts on “Song Review: KEEMBO – Scandalous

  1. Ahh I think I missed this because their pre release was a little underwhelming. Sweetune is a gift, that ascending chorus is so irresistible. We need more!


  2. I was surprised that both members participated in the lyrical and production process of the song. They’re even listed above Han Jaeho and Kim Seungsoo in the credits. Anyways good to see SWEETUNE slowly grooving into the business of music. I was beginning to think they ran out of ideas to make songs or something. Or they retired.


  3. Will I ever stop saying ‘Justice for Spica’ LIKELY NOT! The proto mamamoo got lost in the shuffle and I’ll always feel a way about that because they consistently gave us fantastic music with zero scandals.

    I’m so proud of them and this is a fun song, hopefully they can find success


  4. .

    The true scandal is that this song has only 11k views a few days on. Korea, Why are you sleeping on Keembo! Legends! Queeeens!
    Seriously, they sing circles around just about every other girl group out there.
    Pay! Attention! People!

    Justice for Spica! They wuz robbed!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Popping back in after a month to say this has been elevated to SOTY status for me. Even though it’s a slightly different approach, the arrangement still feels quintessentially Sweetune: packed to the brim with textures and layered melody lines, and tied together with the year’s most potent hook. It’s a song befitting the ladies’ inarguable talent, but which doesn’t sacrifice the tune just to let them show off.

    I’m obsessed! More pleasant surprises like this, please!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.